Category: process

  • Solarwinds Geek Speak

    I’m sharing some articles I wrote on the Solarwinds Geek Speak blog.  I recommend you start with the 80/20 rule below post below before reading through the rest. The 80-20 Rule of Analysis and Optimisation Start with Continuous Improvement, then do DevOps The pain of network variation – part 1 The pain of network variation…

  • Reserved Internal Address Ranges

    I’ve added a new question to my own network integration checklist, specifically when integrating chassis-based or integrated solutions: Does the system use any reserved internal address ranges?

  • Strain relief

    I’ve got a problem with sagging cables, and I’ve got a simple solution. Examine the side-by-side images below which show the same fiber connection between a switch and a firewall. The image on the left shows a sagging cable which crosses in front of the switch in the rack unit just below it. As you may know, this cabling install…

  • Effectiveness – Network Truths, Principles and Fallacies

    I recently gave a 13-minute talk to the Irish Network Operators Group (INOG).  In this talk I argue that you can become more effective, and a happier engineer by standing back and reflecting. The talk discusses how you work –  with reference to some great truths, principles and fallacies. I introduce The twelve networking truths…

  • Clear Pricing for Network Services

    I had to buy some switches recently and needed to gather a second quote from another vendor. I went to the Dell website and was pleasantly surprised to quickly find a clear price and a buy-now button for each device on their website. Normally you’d need an account of the vendors portal to get this information, so it is refreshing…

  • Include the why

    I recently stumbled upon an interesting speech from 1984 by Charlie Munger of Bershire Hathaway fame. Charlie is Warren Buffet’s right-hand-man, and a straight talking genius in his own right. It’s a fairly long speech and Charlie has a few very interesting things to say, but one particular section on ‘explaining the why’ really struck…

  • Getting started with Network Packet Generators

    A friend of mine has just ordered a shiny new packet generator for his network lab. I’ve spent some time working as a QA engineer in a network lab and wanted to share some advice. You can purchase stateful and stateless packet generators from major vendors like Spirent, IXIA or Agilent. If you just need…

  • 5 ways to fail – WAN link acceptance

    I’ve had an interesting few months doing WAN circuit turn-ups for a new Data Centre. I dealt with three major carriers, and each experience was worse than the next. I’m not sure why I held such high expectations but I was surprised by their hopeless inefficiency in delivering what should have been a standard product. In this post…

  • East West Segmentation With ACI

      East/west segmentation is required in the data center to protect backend networks from each other. Segmentation is often implemented using ACLs between VLANS on your core switch. The ACLS are maintained by network or security engineers but define the flows permitted between hosts or host classes.

  • Basic network change control process

    Scenario: You are an engineer who runs a managed network on behalf of a customer. Your manager has asked you to create a change control process. Your customer and your manager will measure you only by the uptime or outages they experience, and don’t care what your process looks like. I’ve discussed why we need change control in a…